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October 11, 2021

Recipe for “Buckhorn Brew” Mulled Wine

I always associate mulled wine with happy occasions.  The first time I was introduced to this splendid drink was when Jack and I lived in Chicago.  It was a cold December evening and we were visiting the Christkindlmarket

This mulled wine is flavored with apple cider, honey and spices.

My mulled wine recipe is perfect for crisp fall evenings. Photo by Edward Howell.

http://Www.christkindlmarket.com in Daley Plaza. It was gently snowing and we were surrounded by sparkling holiday lights, the sound of festive music, and the aromas of roasted nuts and spiced wine.  The mug of wine warmed my hands, the scent delighted my nose, and the flavors tickled my taste buds.  Since then, I have made hot spiced wine for my family’s Christmas Eve Celebrations.

This October we are offering my autumn mulled wine in our sitting room on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.  If it meets with a positive response we will continue through November.  My recipe is full of fall flavors:  dry and fruity red wine, apple cider, honey, orange, and a variety of warm spices.  I recommend making it and serving it in a crock pot.  If you are entertaining a crowd this recipe may be doubled.   If you have any leftover, it may be kept in the refrigerator for a few days then gently reheated.

Use your favorite red wine in this recipe.  I prefer a somewhat dry Cabernet Sauvignon with notes of dark fruit and firm tannins as I like the way it blends with the other ingredients.

Buckhorn Brew Mulled Wine Recipe

1 bottle red wine (Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon all work well)

3 cups of apple cider

1/4 cup honey

1 orange, sliced

5 whole cloves

4 cardamom pods

2 cinnamon sticks

1 star anise

Add the wine, cider, and honey to a slow cooker.  Stir to be sure honey dissolves.  Put the spices in a cheesecloth bag and add to the cooker.  Float slices of orange on the top.  Cook on low for 45 minutes to an hour.  When ready to serve, turn the slow cooker to the “keep warm” setting.  Ladle into mugs and garnish with an orange slice and/or a cinnamon stick.  Makes 6-7 servings.

I hope this aromatic drink helps you to welcome autumn to your house!

 

 

August 10, 2021

Sticky Toffee Pudding Coffeecake

Our new cookbook includes the recipe for Chef Bob’s creation, Sticky Toffee Pudding Coffeecake. We include this recipe by popular demand—when it is served for breakfast practically everyone wants the recipe!

Sticky Toffee Pudding Coffeecake

Coffeecake

1 1/2 c pitted dates, chopped
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t kosher salt
4 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 9 x 13” cake pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. In a small saucepan cover the dates with one cup of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in baking soda; mixture will foam up. Let cool slightly. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle beat the butter with granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. In 2 alternating batches beat in the dry ingredients and date mixture until must incorporated. Scrape the batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn the cake onto a rack and peel off the parchment. Carefully return the cake, top side down, to the pan. Using a skewer, poke 15 to 20 holes in the cake. Pour half the warm sauce over the cake and let stand until absorbed, about 5 minutes. Invert onto a platter and poke another 15 to 20 holes in the top. Pour the remaining sauce over the top. Serve warm.

Sauce

1/2 c dark brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 c heavy cream
2 t brandy
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t kosher salt

While the cake is cooling make the sauce. Bring the brown sugar, butter and heavy cream to boil over moderate heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Simmer over moderately low heat for 2 minutes, continually whisking. Remove from heat and whisk in brandy, vanilla, and salt. Keep warm.

July 20, 2021

Treasured Buckhorn Inn Recipes Available in Cookbook

Our new cookbook “A Treasury of Buckhorn Inn Recipes” is available from our office.  This edition was published in memory of John Mellor who served as Innkeeper from 1998 to 2020.  This cookbook provides recipes for old favorites, new additions to our menu, and a few treasured Mellor family recipes.  It includes guides to local attractions and information on the provenance of some of our recipes.  Copies are available in our gift shop or by calling our office.  We hope you enjoy it!  

Dinner guests love the variety of fish preparations on our menu.  One key is delicious and flavorful sauces.

Our cookbook contains many recipes for delicious fish dishes.

Flavorful sauces up the taste of fish dishes.

Below are two easy recipes from the new publication.

Tropical Fruit Salsa for Fish

1 c. Papaya, peeled and finely diced

1/2 Mango, peeled and finely diced

1/2 c. White onion, finely chopped

3 T. Fresh cilantro, chopped

1 T. Orange juice

1 T. Lime juice

1/2 t. Jalapeño, minced

1/2 t. Salt

Stir together all ingredients.  Makes about two cups.  This refreshing salsa is delicious with grilled snapper, pan-seared cod, or other simply prepared fish.

Roasted Pepper Aioli for Fried Fish

1/4 c. Canned, fire-roasted red peppers, drained

1/2 c. Mayonnaise

1 T. Fresh chives, minced

2 t. Lemon juice

1 t. Garlic, minced

Chop the red peppers.  Purée with the other ingredients until smooth.  Makes about half of a cup.  This flavorful aioli also is delicious with crab cakes!

June 13, 2021

It’s Grilling Season

Grilling dinner is one of life’s greatest pleasures—surpassed only by eating the grilled dinner! Marinating a chuck roast and basting it with maple barbecue sauce will turn the inexpensive meat into a tender, flavorful dish.

A nice big Zinfandel will stand up to the smoky flavors of this barbecue delight. Another option might be a peppery Australian Shiraz. And if you are grilling on a hot summer day, try a fruity, refreshing red wine sangria!

See recipe below.

 

 

 

Marinated Chuck Roast
1 onion, chopped
2 T. vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. soy sauce
¼ c. red wine vinegar
2 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 T. honey
1 ¼ c. beef broth
1 blade chuck roast, about 3 lb.
Maple barbecue sauce

Stir together onion, oil, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, rosemary, honey and broth. Place the roast in a glass dish and pour the marinade over. Turn. Cover and refrigerate 36 hours, turning once. Bring to room temperature in marinade about 2 hours before cooking.

Preheat grill. Remove roast from marinade and grill 4 to 6 inches over hot coals. Baste with barbecue sauce and turn as needed. Cook about 30 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 130 for medium rare or 145 for medium. Remove from grill and let rest before serving. Slice thinly and serve with additional barbecue sauce. Serves 4 to 6.

Maple Barbecue Sauce
2 T. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
½ c. white distilled vinegar
¼ c. sugar
3 c. ketchup
¼ c. dark brown sugar
1 c. maple syrup
1 c. water
½ c. red wine vinegar
10 garlic cloves, minced
4 t. Worcestershire sauce
4 t. A-1 sauce
1 t. black pepper
½ t. paprika
¼ t. cayenne pepper
¼ t. salt

Heat oil and sauté onion until soft. Add white vinegar and sugar, bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in ketchup, brown sugar, maple syrup, water, red wine vinegar and seasonings. Simmer for about an hour. It will thicken slightly. Cool to room temperature and use immediately or store in the refrigerator.

March 23, 2021

Try Honey Jerk Chicken Wings for Your Game Watch Party

As the weather warms we are hopeful that our honey bees made it through the cold, wet winter. We love our honey and are always looking for new recipes featuring this special ingredient. This recipe is sweet and hot, and would make a great snack to enjoy while watching the NCAA basketball tournament. As for wine, I especially enjoy Gewürztraminer with spicy food. You might also try an off-dry Riesling. Stay away from anything oaked or very dry. A crisp lager would be another good choice.

Honey Jerk Chicken Wings

20 chicken wings

Marinade
1 tablespoon of finely minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 green onion tops, chopped
¼ to ½ hot pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil

Put all ingredients for the marinade in a blender and process to a smooth paste. Put chicken in a non-metallic bowl and mix with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment. Cook wings for 45 minutes. Serve with a wedge of lime.

February 22, 2021

We Share Our Recipe for Country Granary Bread!

A highlight of any Buckhorn Inn dinner is when the basket of warm bread is delivered to your table.  You gently lift off the cloth napkin and inhale the warm, yeasty fragrance.  You select a slice and watch as the butter melts slowly into every nook and cranny.  That first bite is heaven!  One of our most popular bread recipes is below.  The aroma of fresh-baked bread will have your family gathering in the kitchen! 

Kneading bread dough is fun for the entire family.

Kneading bread dough is a good way to work out any frustrations! Photo by Nadya Spetnitskaya

Country Granary Bread

Preheat oven to 400 F.

2          Tablespoons active dry yeast

                        Pinch brown sugar

1 ¼      Cups    Warm water

1/3       Cup     Old-fashioned rolled oats

1          Cup     Cooked bulgur wheat, flax and/or

                        millet

2          Tablespoons       Light brown sugar

1          Cup     Whole wheat flour

3 1/3    Cups    All-purpose or bread flour

1 ¼      Cups    Warm milk

¼         Cup     Vegetable oil

1          Tablespoon      Salt

 

To cook the bulgur wheat, flax and millet, place the grains in a small bowl and pour in two cups of boiling water.  Let stand for about 30 minutes.  Drain.

 

Combine the yeast, pinch of brown sugar and warm water.  Stir to dissolve.  Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

 

In the work bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the warm milk, oil, the yeast mixture, salt, oatmeal, brown sugar, and the cooked bulgur wheat, flax and millet mixture.  Add the salt and 2 cups of the white and whole wheat flour combined.  Whisk hard until smooth, about 1 minute.  Let stand, uncovered, 30 minutes.  Add the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed that just clears the sides of the bowl.

 

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until light-colored, smooth, and springy, about 2 minutes, adding only 1 tablespoon flour at a time as needed, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 ½ to 2 hours.

 

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 2 equal portions.  Cut each portion into 2 uneven pieces.  Form the 2 large pieces into tight round loaves.  Place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet sprinkled with more oatmeal and cereal grains.  Loaves may be formed in a conventional round fashion.  If you want to make the more decorative turban shape, use your fingers to take a pinch from each of the two loaves to form an indentation. 

 

Roll the 2 small pieces into teardrop-shaped ovals and place in the indentation on the larger rounds, centering them.  Using a floured finger, poke into the middle of each loaf right through the middle to the bottom.  This is important to join the two sections to form one loaf.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

 

Twenty minutes before baking, heat the oven to 400 F.  Gently brush the tops of the loaves with the 1 tablespoon of oil.  Refine the indentation through the center of each loaf.  Bake in the lower half of the preheated oven until the loaves are golden brown and the bottoms sound hollow.

 

Yield:  2 cottage loaves

 

January 16, 2021

An Excellent Winter Recipe: Pork Mole Chili

Jack and I met the summer of 1981 in Chicago. We both had just graduated from college and moved to the big city—he from Kentucky and me from Indiana. We were working hard at our first post-college jobs and trying to manage rent and all the other expenses that come with being on your own. Needless to say, we were pinching pennies. When it came to celebrating holidays and special occasions, we started going to Mexican restaurants. The atmosphere was festive, the food delicious and reasonably priced, and dinners came with complimentary chips and salsa—perfect for us. So perfect that all these years later we still celebrate with Mexican food.

 

This recipe is one of my favorites. The chocolate adds color, the cinnamon and sugar add sweetness, and the chili powder adds spice. This recipe is from “Easy Entertaining” by Marlene Sorosky and I made it for one of the first meals that John and Lee had at our house. That was a special occasion indeed! I often pair this dish with a lush, red Zinfandel. The warm spice, dark berry, vanilla and chocolate notes in the wine go nicely with the dark, bold flavors of the chili. On the other hand, Jack recommends you enjoy it with a bottle of cold Dos Equis or your favorite Mexican beer.

 

 

1 ½ cups dried black beans
2 onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 pounds pork butt, cut into ½ inch cubes
1/3 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 14 ½ ounce can whole tomatoes
4 ½ cups chicken broth
1 ½ ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 corn tortillas torn into small pieces

Rinse beans and place in a large saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook for one minute then drain. Add fresh water to cover by three inches, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. (Or, use two 16-ounce cans of black beans, rinsed and drained.)

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add the pork. Cook over moderate heat for about 20 minutes or until pink is gone. Pour off drippings. Stir in onions, spices, sugar and salt. Cook 5 minutes. Break up tomatoes and add them with their juice. Add chicken broth and chocolate. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for an hour and a half. Add beans and continue to simmer for 30 minutes until pork is tender and chili has thickened. Stir in tortillas and simmer until they have dissolved.

Offer chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh cilantro, finely chopped onion, and/or sour cream as condiments. Serves 8.

December 14, 2020

Love It or Hate It: A Brief History of Eggnog

At this time of year many of us enjoying curling up in front of a roaring fire with a frothy cup of eggnog.  What is the history of this unusual beverage?

Our favorite eggnog is Alton Brown's version.

Eggs, cream, and rum are common eggnog ingredients.

Most food historians agree that eggnog originated from medieval Britain.  In the 1200’s Brits were known to be fond of a hot, milky, alcoholic drink called a “posset”.  These drinks were usually made with ale.  Eventually, monks developed a posset with eggs, sherry, and figs.  Because milk, eggs, and sherry were consumed by the wealthy, this beverage was often used to toast prosperity and good health.

When the drink came to America in the 1700s, it began to become associated with the winter holidays.  The colonists began substituting less expensive rum for the sherry and mixed it with their eggs and milk.  George Washington had his own favorite recipe which included brandy, rye whiskey, rum and sherry along with eggs, cream, sugar and milk.  Most say that the drink is called a “nog” from the word “noggin” for a wooden cup.  Whatever the reason, by the late 18th century the term eggnog was in common use. 

We are partial to the recipe from Alton Brown http://www.foodnetwork.com.

Alton Brown’s Eggnog

Makes 6 to 7 cups

4 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon

1 pint whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

3 ounces bourbon

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

4 egg whites

Beat egg yolks until they lighten in color.  Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar and beat until completely dissolved.  Add the milk, cream, bourbon, and nutmeg and stir to combine.  Beat egg whites to soft peaks.  Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Whisk whites into the milk mixture.  Chill and serve.

If you prefer to cook your eggnog, beat yolks until light and beat in sugar until it is dissolved.  Over high heat combine milk, cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture.  Cook until it reaches 160 f.  Remove from heat, and stir in the bourbon.  Chill.  Then beat and add the egg whites and sugar as described previously.

Cheers!

November 9, 2020

Flaky Parmesan Pinwheels: A Social Security Recipe

From Sharon Mellor

Flaky Parmesan Pinwheels

One thing I learned from my mother is to always have something on hand to offer unexpected guests. She called it her “social security”! A roll of these pinwheels can remain in your freezer for several months. Simply remove, slice and bake and you have a very delicious appetizer! Serve them with a fresh and acidic white wine. A pinot grigio or a sauvignon blanc would do nicely.

Flaky Parmesan Pinwheels
12 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 green onion tops, chopped
¼ cup pesto (purchased or your favorite recipe)
1 lb. frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cold

Blend cream cheese and parmesan. Add green onions and pesto and mix until well incorporated. On a lightly floured board, roll 1 sheet of the puff pastry into a 10 x 6 inch rectangle. Spread half of the cheese mixture over the pastry. Roll lengthwise. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining pastry and filling. Freeze until solid. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 375 and place rack in upper third of oven. Slice logs into ¼ inch thick rounds. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 1 ½ inches apart. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until lightly browned. This recipe makes about 50 pinwheels. Serve warm or at room temperature.

October 23, 2020

Creating the Perfect Pumpkin Pie is a Family Affair

  1. Pumpkin Pie is a delicious finale to any Thanksgiving dinner.  This week we are planning our upcoming Buckhorn Inn Thanksgiving feast and fondly reminiscing about Thanksgivings past.  Here is Sharon’s memory of her first Thanksgiving after she and Jack moved from Chicago.

I was so delighted to be part of the Buckhorn Inn family and was eagerly looking forward to Thanksgiving.  I love to bake, so I was excited when Lee asked if I would help out by baking a few desserts for the feast.  I pictured myself bustling about in an apron, my kitchen fragrant with fall spices.  Perfect!  When the menu was finalized, I was in charge of baking six pies–three apple and three pumpkin. 

Family to the Rescue

Pumpkin pie is a delicious end to any fall meal.

This recipe is rich and creamy with a hint of spice.

Pie crust has long been my nemesis.  My mother makes perfect pie crusts–light, tender, flaky and delicious.  I follow her recipe carefully, but my results are inconsistent.  I watch my mother’s deft hands as she quickly and confidently rolls out her crusts.  I don’t think I inherited her “dough touch”! 

I was worrying aloud about my pies to my sister-in-law Donna.  I know my brother would have married her anyway, but the fact that she is a great cook certainly sweetened the deal for him!  She said, “Sis, don’t worry about a thing.  I have a recipe for pie crust that has never failed me.”  She wrote out the recipe and I hurried home to make some practice pies.  Success!  If you would like the recipe for Donna’s  crust, check out her blog  https://faithhopefarm.wordpress.com/2020/10/23/a-time-to-give-and-a-time-to-share-a-pie-crust-recipe-story/ Her blog shares the story of how a “town girl” like her adapted to life on a farm.  She shares recipes, craft ideas, garden inspirations, and farm anecdotes.  You might enjoy following her!  

Here is the recipe for my pumpkin pie filling.  It is rich, creamy, and has a hint of bourbon.  This recipe makes one pie and is delicious topped with copious amounts of whipped cream.

Sharon’s Pumpkin Pie

8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

2 cups canned pumpkin

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

1 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup melted butter

1 tablespoon bourbon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground clove

Donna’s No-Fail Pie Crust

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Place pie dough in a 9-inch pie pan and press down on bottom and sides.  Pinch and crimp edges.  Put the shell in the freezer for an hour to firm up.  Line the frozen shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and weights and bake for another 10 minutes.  The crust should be dried and just beginning to color.

Beat cream cheese.  Add pumpkin and beat until combined.  Beat in the sugar and salt.  Add egg and yolks, half-and-half and melted butter, beat until combined.  Add the remaining ingredients and beat until incorporated.  

Pour the filling into the warm pie crust and bake for 50 minutes.  The center should be set.  Cool to room temperature before cutting.

We hope you enjoy this pie and that you have a beautiful autumn!